Brockport Arts Festival 2018

This past weekend I participated in the Brockport Arts Festival! It was my third year being a vendor at this show.

I didn’t know how to mentally prepare for the festival this year, partly because I haven’t really worked on my art business lately, but mostly because I was so uncertain about how it was going to go because this show was going to be so different: I wasn’t bringing my jewelry, which is hands down my top seller. Instead, I was bringing only originals and prints. I’ve only ever sold a few prints at any festival, even the two day ones. I was taking a big risk, and with this being one of the more expensive shows that I do, I was really nervous that it was going to be a big flop.

Little did I know how unprepared for the weekend I actually was…

Continue reading “Brockport Arts Festival 2018”

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Rebranding: Display Progress!

One of my 2017 goals was to rebrand my business by changing up colors and making it feel more cohesive…and then a week later, I decided to rebrand the rebranding.

Confusing, I know.

I’m really loving the new direction the business is going in. I feel more confident with how it’s going to look, and I think the business as a whole will feel more cohesive. I tried to tailor most of the Drawing a Day challenge towards the landscape and natural feel, and honestly, the ones that fit that theme were my favorites and even lowered my stress levels while completing them!

I was excited to start making my vision a reality. The tablecloths and runners were already here, but the displays needed to be made. Here’s the look I was aiming for for my booth display:

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Continue reading “Rebranding: Display Progress!”

Gaslight Holiday Celebration 2016

Almost three weeks ago I participated in the Gaslight Holiday Celebration for the third time. This is such a special show for me: it’s right here where we live, our local library puts it on (and as I’m on the board, I get to help plan and prepare), and it marks the anniversary of my first show.

As much as I love this show (it’s my favorite one I do!), I was feeling a little let down at the end of the day. Part of that could have been that it was a very rough morning even before getting to the show, but it just felt different this year. I thought crowds were down (but I’m one of the only people who felt that way, so who knows?), and out of the three years I’ve participated, this was the lowest sales I’d ever had.

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I was set up next to a dear friend and fellow vendor; my youngest helped her set up Friday afternoon!

However, there were a lot of wonderful stories, and a lot of things were different after this show:

Continue reading “Gaslight Holiday Celebration 2016”

Ontario Christmas Craft Show 2016

Last weekend I participated in a one day craft show in Ontario, NY. It’s a little farther away than I normally like to do for shows; my parents haven’t been able to make it to any show or festival that I’ve done, and as it was only 20 minutes from where they live, I signed right up!

20161112_082956I have very mixed feelings looking back on the show. I absolutely loved how the event coordinator let all of the crafters and vendors know all of the information in a timely manner, kept us aware of any changes, and responded to all messages quickly. I went into the show knowing exactly where my table space was, what times everything was, and was left with very little surprises during the day.

Continue reading “Ontario Christmas Craft Show 2016”

AppleUmpkin Festival 2016 Recap

What. A. Weekend.

I was really nervous about doing this festival. It was the most expensive festival I’ve done, a lot of vendor acquaintances don’t do this festival anymore due to bad sales, and I just didn’t feel mentally prepared for it.

Saturday morning started off really rough, which just made everything feel so much worse. Thankfully we set my tent, tables, and trellises up Friday night, so I just had to set everything else myself that morning. It wasn’t until I was about half finished that I realized that I forgot things at home, so had to just throw everything in the tent, zip it up, and rush home.

Thankfully we live 5 minutes away, right? 😉

Running home also meant I got to see my kids quickly and get more views of this gorgeous sunrise (aka painting inspiration):

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Once I was back and all set up, things went fairly smoothly Saturday. There were times I was swamped, and there were times it was pretty quiet. It ended up being the best day I’ve ever had for a festival, and after my rough week and start to the day, it was really encouraging.

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Sunday was a bit slower; there were quiet and swamped times as well, but the crowds seemed to mostly want to just walk the grounds, get food (oh man, the smells were AMAZING), and enjoy the music.

Highlights:

The weather. Seriously. We could not have had better fall weather! Bright sunshine, slight breeze, and cool temperatures? Perfection.

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Visitors! Getting to see friends from the community I hadn’t seen in awhile (my kids just switched to another district, and we don’t get to see a lot of our friends here anymore), a friend from college came to check out the festival, repeat customers came to say hi, and my aunt and uncle happened to be in the area for another event so stopped by to see me!

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Cute little helpers!!!! My youngest came and helped for a bit while the other two kids and the hubby walked the festival, then my daughter helped my close out the day Saturday. My super cute niece also kept my chair warm while her mom and dad watched my booth so I could have a quick break.

Fun shoppers who take their time making decisions. I had one customer take a while deciding which of the Harry Potter inspired necklaces she wanted. She chose the Hufflepuff one at first, but then realized she was a Ravenclaw so went back to look at those necklaces. That brought about another round of which one to get!

Later when my youngest was helping, I had a customer who couldn’t decide which pair of earrings to get. Her husband and I both suggested the purple ones, but eventually she chose multi colored ones. She ended up coming back right before closing and exchanged them for the purple ones we recommended she get! But what makes it even funnier, is that she came back Sunday and brought her mom to my booth. Her mom ended up buying the multi colored ones that her daughter originally bought Saturday!

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Excitement over Boathouse. My supervisor from the campus library I worked at during college bought a copy of each for her as well as to donate to the campus library, and a teacher at the school my kids used to attend came and got them for her granddaughters.

I also had THREE people request that some of the illustrations become prints!!!!

There was also a little boy who stopped outside of my booth and got so excited about the Boathouse books I had on display! He was talking about all the things Boathouse does in the stories, and that his teacher read them in his class, and how he really likes them!

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Meeting other artists. I had an artist come in who just happened to be there with his wife, and we talked for a bit Saturday morning about programs and processes, and then Sunday morning another oil painter who was a vendor on the other side of the festival stopped in and we talked about processes and our love of the color blue.

One of my originals is THE wish list for Christmas! A woman came to my booth and fell in love with Middlebury Sky. She grew up here, and misses the clouds. She lives in Philly and happened to be in the area for the festival, and now she’s going home to tell her husband that what she wants for Christmas is this painting!

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The Lows:

My neighboring vendors weren’t super friendly. Maybe I was just spoiled at Brockport…okay, I probably was spoiled there by making two great connections with other vendors, and that’s ruined me for all festivals. They weren’t awful at AppleUmpkin, but just pretty much kept to themselves.

Dew. We had a lot of moisture Sunday morning on our booths, and thankfully it stayed outside my booth rather than come in and make a mess. This was the only damage I had, and it only happened because the breeze would blow the side of my tent right into the price tag. No big deal, my tent just dripped onto customers for the first couple hours as they entered and exited the booth.

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Being away from home. Not being home for two weekends in a row was really hard on my family. Both weekends were really important and amazing, but we’re really looking forward to me being home this upcoming weekend.

Panic. Okay, so this is really a good problem to have, but I hate feeling unprepared. I almost sold out of a few different styles of my jewelry, and only had one jewelry gift box left! I had tissue paper as a back up, but still, too close for comfort!

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All in all, it was a great weekend, and I could see myself doing this festival again. I’m glad I did it, and it was by far the best festival/craft show I’ve ever had. I haven’t signed up for next year yet as I’m considering changing the direction my booth takes in terms of which products I’ll have available, and I want to know exactly what that direction is before I apply. But in the meantime, it’s time to work on Boathouse 3 and get ready for the next craft show I’m doing in November! Woo hoo!!!!

Brockport Arts Festival 2016: Day 2

To read about my experience on Day 1, click here.

Sunday morning was stressful. I hadn’t slept much the night before, and I was battling a headache. As I got to Brockport, I drove through campus slowly and just reminisced.

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Mortimer Hall! Used to live on 8th and then 2nd floors!

Continue reading “Brockport Arts Festival 2016: Day 2”

Brockport Arts Festival 2016: Day 1

Oh Brockport, how I have missed you.

While this is my first time participating in this festival, Brockport was my home for four years while I was in college. It is where I met and fell in love with my husband, fell back into love with art, and where two of my three kids have been born. A lot has changed in the ten years since we’ve graduated, but I still feel at home there.

Day 1 of the festival was Saturday. Our original plan was to set up the booth and tables Friday night and do a picnic dinner on the college campus, allowing us to give the kids a tour of where Pete and I met, had classes, and hung out. However, I was going to be in the business district, so set up didn’t start until 6 am Saturday. The kids ended up staying the night at their grandparents, Pete and I got up around 4:30, and we were at my spot setting up a little after 6. When the festival is 10am to 6pm, that makes for a loooong day.

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I have soooooo many stories to share, so I had to break it up into a blog post for each day of the festival.

Continue reading “Brockport Arts Festival 2016: Day 1”

DIY Grid Wall Display

It’s art festival season, and I’m revamping my booth design…again.

I have these wooden hangers for my paintings that we made last year, and I wanted to change them up:

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Those hangers are still in pretty good condition, but they need repainting and some of the hooks have fallen out during transportation.

They’re also heavy and take up a lot of space, both for storage in the off season and in my van while being transported.

I had a decision to make: do I spend money fixing these up, or invest in something better?

Continue reading “DIY Grid Wall Display”

The 2nd Annual Gaslight Holiday Celebration

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I participated in my first festival as a vendor.

Remember my table at this event last year?

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Here’s this year’s set up; I think I’ve come a long way since then!

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The festival was wonderful, yet again this year. There were a lot more vendors, and attendance seemed to be the same, if not up, from last year. Continue reading “The 2nd Annual Gaslight Holiday Celebration”

New Booth Displays

You may have seen in my AppleUmpkin post that I made some new updates to my booth displays. The displays that I had weren’t quite working for me, and I knew that I was going to need more and better displays for new products.

After browsing Pinterest, I really didn’t have any ideas on what I wanted for my note cards and new earring style. I found displays I liked, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money if I wasn’t sure I knew that was going to be the display I’d use for a really long time.

I started to stress about the festival, and I was running out of time.

There was a day about a week before the festival that I was taking a van load of donations to a local second hand store, and at the bottom of my pile was a cardboard box full of wooden boxes. The boxes had been given to me years ago, full of art supplies. The boxes didn’t quite work for me for storage purposes, but I loved them too much to get rid of them.

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Wooden boxes, before…

So in my basement they sat.

Last year I decided I should get rid of them, but I could never quite bring myself to actually take them out of the house.

And I’m so glad I didn’t!

They have dividers in the bottom half and a hinged lid, and are super sturdy. After some playing around, I figured out how to turn them into my displays!

I took two boxes and removed the hinges and hardware, then painted them black. The bottom halves became note card displays; I used to have them displayed in baskets, but you couldn’t see what styles were in the baskets, and this allows shoppers to see what styles are available at a glance.

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Testing it as a note card display

The tops I took and hinged together. Once put on it’s side, I attached some ribbon for hanging the earrings on.

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Box lids before…
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Box lids after!

One box I left the top and bottom together, but removed the handle and latches. After painting it black, it became the display for some of my Christmas items!

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Testing out Christmas display layout

I didn’t take one of the box bottoms to the festival; it was supposed to hold my Christmas cards to sell. Yet again, the Note Card Gremlins attacked. Before one of the last festivals I did, all of the settings for the printer got messed up and note cards wouldn’t print properly. This time, my blank note cards disappeared, so I had to reorder new ones. After they arrived, my printer would print about 3/4 of the note card beautifully, but for the last couple of inches, the note card would get pushed crooked and print incorrectly. My tech guy (aka my husband) will be checking the printer and trying to remove the Gremlins from it soon, so I hope to have Christmas cards available soon.

What would you use these boxes for?